5 engaging Instagram Reels ideas for restaurants
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Instagram has become the mecca for social food photography and video. From home cooks to major food and beverage brands, you can find millions of posts that contain mouthwatering food and delectable drinks.
As a local restaurant, how do you take advantage of this immense online audience? In this article, we will help you grow your online popularity and draw more customers to your restaurant.
We've put together a list of insanely engaging restaurant Reels ideas for you to try - as well as bonus tips that will elevate your restaurant's Instagram account as a whole.
Engage your Instagram audience with Reels
You may be more familiar with sharing photos of your restaurant dishes. But did you know that you may be missing out on massive social engagement? Reels are where it's at!
Compared to regular Instagram video and picture posts, Reels generate significantly higher engagement and reach. In fact, the Instagram algorithm tends to favor Reels over other types of content. So, every restaurant should consider posting them - on a regular basis.
Amplify your restaurant Instagram marketing strategy with consistent Reels content. We'll dig into what kinds of Reels you should post on Instagram to get the likes, comments and customers you're looking for.
5 restaurant Reels ideas
Let's talk about several restaurant Reels ideas to try. We'll dive deeper into the strategy behind them so you can analyze how well they'll work for you.
Each of these ideas is specifically tailored to give you a more effective restaurant Instagram marketing strategy.
Reels idea #1 - Recipes
You're cooking all the time, so why not capture footage of things that are already going on? This saves you tons of time and energy.
You absolutely can create Reels for your menu items, but we invite you to think outside the box too. Here are some additional Reels recipe ideas to try:
- Mocktails of your signature alcoholic drinks
- A recipe that your chef loves to make (even if it's not on menu)
- Soup of the day
- Least popular items (to boost awareness)
- Wine pairings with certain dishes
- How to whip butter or make clarified butter
- How to cook medium-rare steak perfectly
- When to stir or shake martinis
- How to make an ice ball at home
- Recipe shortcuts that make a meal 1000% better
Worried competitors or customers will steal your recipe and make it themselves? You can always keep a few chef's secrets from your audience. In fact, some of these secrets could be monetized as signature products for customers to purchase in your restaurant.
Reels idea #2 - Before and after
Again, you have access to so much footage for a before-and-after Reel. Just go about your restaurant's daily activities and get someone to record it. Here are some Reels ideas you seriously need to consider:
- Cooking a dish from start to finish
- Mixing a drink
- Transforming your banquet room for an event
- Setting the table for a romantic evening
- Revamping your bar (during and after construction)
- Rare steak to medium-well
- A dish, before and after the garnish
- A dish upon presentation, versus after a customer ate all of it (due to deliciousness)
- Number of champagne bottles you prepped, versus empty bottles at the end of the night
- Hosting a popular event (and how much is left to clean up after)
Get creative with your before and after Reels videos. Whenever you have front-of-house and back-of-house processes, you have before-and-after footage!
Reels idea #3 - Meet the staff
Now more than ever, people love getting to know the people behind your brand. So, go ahead and share special Reels of your owners, servers, bartenders, chefs and beyond. Here is a list of Instagram Reels ideas for restaurants to show off the awesome staff:
- Meet the newest members
- Interview senior members and why they like working there
- Ask your servers what dishes they would order for themselves at the restaurant
- Ask bartenders which drink every customer needs to try at least once
- Highlight your hardest working employee
- Showcase the skills of your most impressive line cook
- Challenge the owner to get in the back and cook
Luckily, you can showcase every single employee if you want to! That's tons of content right there.
Reels idea #4 - Behind the scenes
Behind-the-scenes Reels can generate so much engagement, particularly because they are so intriguing. Let's give you several ideas to help get the juices flowing:
- Timing how quick your team can put out orders
- Tallying up how many burgers you made that day
- Trial and error of potential new menu items
- How to fold various napkin shapes (and how fast)
- How your staff sets the table for a large event
- How you prep for the dinner rush
- Where you age meat and cheese in house
- Quick tour of your walk-in coolers
- Should you stir or shake martinis?
Posting a behind-the-scenes Reel adds a whole new dimension to your restaurant identity. People may already love you for the food you create but to see how it's created is even more fruitful.
Reels idea #5 - Audience input
What better way to get more Instagram Reels ideas than to ask your audience? We think these could also serve as some market research for the business too. We'll explain.
A great way to get more comments on your Reels is to make them interactive. Ask questions, ask for opinions and encourage people to share their thoughts. Here are some Reels ideas that will help you generate higher engagement (and ideas for future content):
- Choose 1 of 3 new fall drinks to add to the menu
- Bottle tricks to dare your bartenders to try
- Choose the best garnish for your creme brûlée
- What color umbrellas to buy for your outdoor patio
- To stem or not to stem the wine glass...
You obviously will have the final say over what your restaurant does. However, your customers may really enjoy sharing their thoughts from a Reels video and then seeing the change at your restaurant.
Bonus tips for your restaurant videos
Now that you have some concrete ideas about what to post, let's go over some Instagram marketing best practices for your restaurant. Here are some extra tips to keep in mind when making your Instagram Reels.
Always stay on brand
If you want to make a name for your restaurant, be sure to stay on brand each and every time you post a video. For example: Fine dining restaurants probably should maintain a strictly professional brand online. On the other hand, a local pub can keep it casual and bring that same hometown familiarity to their online audience.
When creating your Instagram Reel, you can create unique branding within the Mojo video creation app, and save your colors and fonts. Add them to your favorite templates for quick, professional-looking content.
Offer exclusive deals
Want to keep drawing customers back to your Instagram account? Offer exclusive deals and discounts that they can only find online.
For the most profitability, you want people to go to your restaurant's Instagram account and have a reason to dine at your location. Do that with exclusive online offerings!
Encourage customers to follow you on Instagram for weekly deals that they can use in the restaurant. Plus, these deals will serve as a tantalizing reminder for people to come grab a bite to eat.
Post at the right time
It's imperative that restaurants post their Reels at the right time. You will get more attention when you post during peak hours. Plus, your delicious videos will be more compelling if their stomachs are growling.
So, when should you post your restaurant Instagram Reels? Answer: Right before or during meal times.
Catch people with an enticing sandwich Reel right before they leave for lunch hour. Compel them to go out for dinner with a Reel about your mouthwatering steaks. Make it a no-brainer for them to enjoy Sunday's football game at your restaurant, thanks to your game-day specials.
Create your Instagram Reels now
You can create stunning, on-brand Reels in minutes using the Mojo app. It's an easy-to-use platform to create eye-catching content in just a few clicks.
With 400+ premade templates - and the ability to customize your own - you'll love the content you make!
We even have a variety of templates specifically designed for businesses in the food and beverage industry. Just drag-and-drop your media, add your brand colors and share Reels instantly onto the platform. We can help you create an attention-getting Instagram Story too.
Play around in the Mojo app to see what kinds of magic you can create.
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